WotC WotC can, and probably should support multiple editions of D&D.


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Zardnaar

Legend
I agree you would need to find exact numbers and you would need those numbers before you could support any claim that 5E outsold 1E.

I think most modules sold more 20k. Then numbers I have seen written (unverified) were between 50k and 150k on average during the 1980s. Higher before the 1980s and lower in the 1990s (which would mostly be 2E).



It was at 125k per month at its peak. I think that comes from a post from Jim Ward. I assume the peak would be around 1983.

Other way round wè have supplied the 5E numbers. Apples to apples it's outsold 1E.

It's maybe plausible the entire production of 1E+Dragon+Dungeon. has outsold 5E but not guaranteed. The size of the rpg market adjusted for inflation is double peak TSR.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Honestly it's already been stated you are wrong. WotC has outright said that 5e has surpassed all other D&D editions in sales, and it did this several years ago.

1. Companies lie.
2. They didn't reveal what criteria they used.

The claim here is the entire run of 1E including the magazines has outsold 5E. Not phb to phb 5E wibs tgat one.

I think 5E has still outsold 1E personally but it could be pkaysoble counting Dragon and the quantity of 1E modules even if they sold less than 20k.
 

Oofta

Legend
I don't really care about the "which sold more", because I don't see any relevance to much of anything. But including magazine sales really skews things and is really comparing apples to oranges. The magazines have been replaced by resources freely available on the internet. To really compare you'd have to look at DDB, the playtests, other sources of D&D outside of what WotC publishes. Looking at it that way, the sales of magazines are dwarfed by the amount of content currently out there and viewed on a daily basis.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I don't really care about the "which sold more", because I don't see any relevance to much of anything. But including magazine sales really skews things and is really comparing apples to oranges. The magazines have been replaced by resources freely available on the internet. To really compare you'd have to look at DDB, the playtests, other sources of D&D outside of what WotC publishes. Looking at it that way, the sales of magazines are dwarfed by the amount of content currently out there and viewed on a daily basis.
The context has changed so much between the 80s and 20s.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
If we weren't part way through the anniversary year already, I think an 1e style version of Phandelver might have been a cool project. Get some retro style art, a classic 1e style cover, and maybe some blue ink maps would have been a cool celebration item.

That said, there is a considerable cost in art, layout and conversion that would create a product that can only be used by a very small group of people (those with AD&D books), doesn't guide them to buy anything currently in production, and sows brand confusion to anyone who buys it thinking it's 5e compatible. All for a niche item very few people would actually use.
The question, as with many such one-off things, isn't necessarily how many would use it; it's how many would collect it.

Because in the end a sale is a sale, regardless of the buyer's reason for making the purchase.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Honestly it's already been stated you are wrong. WotC has outright said that 5e has surpassed all other D&D editions in sales, and it did this several years ago.
WotC can say what they like, but given that it's in their interests to say 5e is the best seller they're not exactly neutral reporters.

That said, and even as a 1e fan, I'm more than willing to accept that 5e has outsold all the other editions and that it's probably not even close.

Some accurate neutral-source numbers that don't need extrapolation would help, though. But we're probably not going to get those.
 

Remathilis

Legend
The question, as with many such one-off things, isn't necessarily how many would use it; it's how many would collect it.

Because in the end a sale is a sale, regardless of the buyer's reason for making the purchase.

To a point, I agree. However, even collectable items have a knock-on effect. A book like Phandelver: the Shattered Obelisk is going to guide people towards the Player's Handbook, DMG, and as well as other 5e related supplements. It doesn't matter if they sell the normal version, the collector's cover, or the Beadle's and Grimm superboxset. But a variant "1e" edition increases sales... where? Maybe you get a few people who hop on DMsGuild and buy some AD&D PDFs, but it doesn't drive the sales of new books.

I just don't see enough of a market, novelty/collectors aside, to justify such a product. Maybe I'm wrong...
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Supporter
Given how much magazine material went on to become part of the game (most of Unearthed Arcana, for example, first appeared in Dragon), I'm not sure this claim holds water.
Very little. There were a few things of the mass of Dragon content that became official content, but even looking at the early years of the magazine, it wasn't a big percentage.

We tend to remember the big things that DID become part of the game, but overall most of the content in The Dragon didn't make it in.

Cheers,
Merric
 

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